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Research into antimatter, the mirror image of ordinary matter, comes closer to telling us why the universe isn’t empty

By Philip Ball   January 2011

Nobel prize winners Andre Geim (left) and Konstantin Novoselov

Physicists working on a project called Alpha at Cern, the European centre for particle physics near Geneva, recently announced they have made and trapped 38 atoms of antihydrogen, the antimatter counterpart of ordinary hydrogen. Antimatter is the “mirror image” of the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets and people. The two forms of matter annihilate on contact, converting their mass to energy in a pure expression of the dictum E=mc2. Alpha aims to understand why there is so much more ordinary matter than antimatter. If there weren’t, the two would…

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